Sales Leadership Diagnostic. Sales Team Version
Less than 5 minutes to complete 15 questions
When in sales meetings either 1:1 with your manager or as a team what best describes the approach taken?
Sales meetings dominated by results.
Sales meetings dominated by discussion on sales activity.
Sales meetings include slots on sales activity and training in progress but team do not perceive them as ‘the real issue’.
Sales meetings dominated by results with arbitrary references to “getting the activity up”.
Sales meetings dominated by sales activity plans and personal development.
Which approach to forecasting best describes the way your manager operates?
Forecasting system documented but not driven or scrutinised.
Regular reference to pipeline management and forecasting with full scrutiny to drive action plans and ‘no go’ decisions.
Communicates the forecasting system as something that is required for “them upstairs.” Scrutiny applied in line with ‘the system’ but actions not followed through.
Uses (objective) forecasting processes to drive conversion, make ‘qualify-in / out’ decisions and used as a tool for identifying personal development requirements.
Gut feel ’forecasting and / or dependent on salesperson’s subjective view.
How would you describe your managers’ approach to sales planning and optimising your sales performance?
Sales activity discussed in detail but no credible linkage with conversion ratios and past performance
Sales activity discussed in detail with firm links to conversion ratios
Targets and results are discussed within the context of a threatening disciplinary environment or you are left to get on with the job irrespective of your performance
Performance-driven via regular review / agreement of sales activity plans and support & development required to meet objectives, with full ownership and buy-in from you.
Individual monthly discussion on last month’s results
How does your manager review personal sales performance?
Doesn’t focus ‘appraisal’ system in a positive vein. Usually it is backward looking and judgmental and personal development plans are not put in place and/or followed up.
Uses personal review process to focus individuals on their career & personal aspirations / goals as well as the company’s.
Positions appraisal and performance review as positive and forward looking. Clear action plans to develop the individual in line with their personal drivers.
Uses company ‘appraisal’ system to drive development of individuals in a ‘judgmental’ and threatening fashion.
Follows the required procedures for appraisal and performance review meetings but individuals leave the meeting ‘uninspired’.
To what extent is sales management focused on sales activity management?
Visibly uses personally focused plans to add value to the individual. Uses weekly call reports to feedback relevant information that motivates the required activities. Provides relevant feedback from weekly call reports.
Weekly activity monitors in place but not analysed or used to plan sales activity. Frequent requests to “get them in on time” but planning gaps not identified or owned.
Team see personally focused plans as the way the manager works, with planning gaps identified but not really owned by you.
Either no sales activity plans, or sales people targeted on number of visits per week/month which relate to nothing in particular. Activity plans not analysed and fed back.
Manager ‘talks a good job’ regarding management and sales processes but planning gaps not proactively identified or owned.
What’s your perception of your manager’s emphasis with regard to field visiting?
Joint visit targets usually achieved but with some reluctance or only when there is management pressure.
Managers in office 80%+ of time.
Managers in office 60%+ of time.
60%+ of managers’ time is spent supporting salespeople in the field.
Sensible prioritisation of joint visiting tasks with other important activities.
What is your manager’s approach during sales visits?
Uses joint visits to coach and support and plan the necessary actions for the future making full use of pre and post call plans.
Joint visits carried out following coaching guidelines and selling methodologies pre, post and during the visit. Prepared to risk business rather than taking over.
Joint visits carried out with insufficient pre-call and post-call analysis. Not enough time devoted to each visit. Manager often takes over the call.
Manager usually ‘takes over’ during joint visits. No feedback given.
Joint visits carried out with insufficient pre-call and post-call analysis. Not enough time devoted to each visit. Field accompaniment is appreciated by the individual but is not used as an ongoing tool for personal development. Often takes over the call. Most feedback over lunch informally or in the car on the move.
How ‘people focused’ is your manager?
Perceived as a manager whose key activities are managing and supporting people with ‘administration' treated as secondary task.
Admin tasks and PC work carried out outside prime selling time and off site when possible.
Lots of time on the computer, rarely seen spending time with team members. Regular and keen attendance of peripheral meetings and events e.g. quality meetings, working parties, operations liaison etc.
Tends to only spend time working closely with people when directed by management or when management is paying special attention to the department.
More likely to be ‘flying a desk’ and always using the computer.
What is your sales manager’s approach to sales ‘league tables?
League tables are largely based on an individual’s total sales performance and are a key plank in the company’s motivation of salespeople through linked incentive schemes.
There are sales activity ‘league’ tables as well as result league tables.
Sales leagues and incentive schemes include an ‘activity’ dimension but most management demand emphasis is about results.
League tables and linked incentive schemes truly reflect sales activity as well as results.
Results league tables reflect business mix as well as total sales performance and are a key plank in the company’s motivation of salespeople through linked incentive schemes.
To what extent does sales management rely on incentive schemes to motivate individuals?
Constant barrage of incentive schemes.
Top monthly (sales result) performers given the most accolades and credibility. Cursory reference to underlying reasons for their success (sales activity).
Star performers recognised publicly with support evidence of sales activity linkage.
Incentive schemes used as the main vehicle for driving sales performance.
Incentive schemes used to reinforce best practice regarding sales activity with management demand for both activity and results.
How would you describe your managers ‘management style’?
Management style is the same for everybody, irrespective of the style agreed with each individual.
Realises through management training what ‘should’ happen but carries on regardless usually in an ineffectual manner.
Management style varies to suit individuals and the tasks to be performed.
Management style varies to suit individuals and the tasks to be performed with the full knowledge and agreement of the individual.
What is your manager’s involvement in sales training?
Leads from the front with the planning and implementation of sales training and is fully involved in an appropriate fashion.
Manager not present on sales training programmes.
Appropriate attendance of training events with visible support for key messages and participation in the debate on specific issues. Proactively takes part to help drive the process.
Attendance at training session if requested by Senior Management. Gives a ‘flag waving’ speech at beginning/end with no real substance or message. Stays quiet throughout the sessions. Doesn’t raise or discuss issues with the facilitator.
Present at the beginning of training programme but no input.
What is your manager’s approach to major account planning?
Personally leads and manages activity on a number of major accounts to enhance implementation and to develop the individual.
Regular attendance of major account hospitality events. General discussion on progress at sales meetings.
Demands major account plans (or updates) when requested from ‘above’.
Uses major account plans to define the required actions to win business.
Major account relationships not quantified – (confused with friendship) and no meaningful management involvement in major account plans other than flag-waving.
How does your manager drive lead generation?
Marketing and lead generation activity not ‘triggered’ by, or linked to, the defined requirements of sales activity plans .
Over reliant on ‘marketing initiatives’ to fuel lead generation.
Drives for initiatives/support from other departments (e.g. Marketing) to generate the required sales leads.
Realistic view of the role of marketing. Understands where sales discipline fits within the marketing mix.
Lead generation exercises driven by others. Only do them when Head Office says so.
What is your manager’s approach to setting sales targets?
Sales targets are set including the required business mix with management ‘justification’ of how they are achievable but with no linkage to the required sales activity and without the real ‘buy-in’ of the salesperson.
Sales targets are set as an overall total usually based on year on year increments with no regard to their achievability or the importance of product mix, customer types or customer numbers.
A comprehensive mix of sales targets are set with sales activity plans generated by ratio analysis and the ‘buy-in’ of the salesperson. A training and development plan is put in place and normally followed up.
A comprehensive mix of sales targets are set and sales activity is planned but there is no correlation between activity and results, activity levels are set arbitrarily and personal development is discussed but not taken forward.
A comprehensive mix of sales targets are set with the full confidence and ‘buy-in’ of the salesperson that they are achievable based on a realistic activity plan and ratio analysis. Underpinned by a personal development plan that will be followed up, supported in the field and used as the basis for personal motivation and career development.
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